UK & World News
Michael Le Vell 'Raped Girl As She Held Teddy'
Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell raped a six-year-old girl while she was holding her teddy bear, a court has heard.
The star, who plays car mechanic Kevin Webster in the ITV soap, placed a second teddy bear over his victim's mouth as he sexually assaulted her, prosecutors claimed in their opening statement.
The victim said that during the first alleged rape, Le Vell told the girl he was "getting rid of the evil inside" of her.
Day two of the trial begins later, follow live updates online.
On Monday prosecutors told the jury at Manchester Crown Court, where Le Vell is being tried for 12 child sex offences, he then kissed her on the cheek and left.
The victim said she was so upset she tried to console herself by talking to her teddy bears, telling them what had happened.
She told the court that after being abused she would cuddle her teddies and tell them "it doesn't feel right but it must be".
The youngster was too scared to tell anyone else, because Le Vell allegedly said to her: "No-one needs to know, otherwise you'll be taken, you'll die and evil will come over you."
When he was finally confronted by the victim's mother, the jury heard that Le Vell became very angry, grabbed the woman and pinned her against a wall.
The 48-year-old actor, who is on trial under his real name of Michael Turner, denies five counts of rape, three of indecent assault, two counts of sexual activity with a child and two of causing a child to engage in sexual activity.
The alleged offences relate to one complainant and are said to have taken place between 2001 and September 2010. The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was aged between six and 14.
Eleanor Laws QC, prosecuting, began the opening address by telling the jury Le Vell was a "heavy drinker".
Ms Laws said the abuse began when Le Vell slipped his hand under the girl's clothing.
The victim, who on Monday afternoon gave her account of what happened, was in tears as she recounted what happened.
In between sobs, from behind a curtain, the victim said Le Vell told her the alleged abuse was "our little secret".
As a result, she didn't tell anyone at the time, she said.
She said the abuse "didn't feel right, it felt disgusting, it hurt, it was very very scary."
The youngster said the abuse stopped for a short time before restarting when she was eight. At the time, "everyone noticed I was a different child", she said.
Le Vell shook his head repeatedly as the girl, in between breaking down in tears, said the alleged abuse made her feel "dirty".
Later she described how she felt as she tried to pluck up courage to tell her mother. The girl said she felt like she'd "done something wrong".
"I didn't understand why he'd done it to me", she said.
Father-of-two Le Vell, originally from Manchester, is one of TV's most famous faces after playing the soap's garage owner for the past 30 years.
ITV has said he will not be appearing in any further episodes of the soap pending the outcome of legal proceedings.
Le Vell's trial continues and is scheduled to last around two weeks.